By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
By New Times
It took three or four of them, he says now, but the other prisoners beat him repeatedly on his way back to his cell and pummeled him mercilessly in the prison yard.
Florence's warden eventually put Macumber in solitary confinement for his safety. He was separated from the population and the beatings, but the isolation meant he was released only to shower. Macumber occupied himself with letters to his family.
One day, a guard dropped off a letter from Carol's attorney. She wanted a divorce and custody of their sons.
The judge ultimately granted Macumber and his parents visitation rights, meaning his boys could visit their father in prison. His mother and father weren't able to take them much, however, since Carol moved the family and left no forwarding address.
In 1976, after Macumber had spent about a year behind bars, a judge ordered a new trial, partly because the defense's ballistics expert hadn't been allowed to testify. Macumber was bonded out again and moved back in with his parents.
His court-appointed attorney never called the ballistics expert during the new trial. Instead, Macumber's lawyer new had discovered Primrose's account of the murder and sought to link it with Ernie Valenzuela's confessions.
Five years after the lovers' lane murders, in 1967, police had arrested Valenzuela, then 23. Valenzuela later pleaded guilty to murdering the man and assaulting the woman on the Gila River Indian Community. He'd shot the man to death as he was forced to lie in the car's trunk and had chased the woman through brush, catching her and raping her repeatedly before shooting her. She survived.
Decades after representing Valenzuela in the reservation murders, attorney Thomas O'Toole said in a sworn affidavit to the Justice Project: "On a scale of one to 10 — 10 being the most evil and dangerous — Ernest Valenzuela was nine or 10."
O'Toole continued by recalling Ernie's "glowing eyes" as the killer glibly confessed to the lovers' lane murders, saying he'd shot the man "like a rabbit."
Once again, however, the judge wouldn't allow testimony about the confessions, saying it was confidential and unreliable, that Ernie could have read about the murder in a newspaper and invented that he killed the couple to get attention.
Then, Primrose's testimony fell apart. She'd married and wanted no part of the past. She told the court that she'd lied to investigators, invented the whole story — there were no drugs beneath the fence post, no woman screaming frantically and ripping at her hair, no Ernie.
Macumber was found guilty once more and returned to prison — where the beatings became more frequent. "I guess the population decided they could beat me down and beat me down, and I'd just kept getting back up," he recalls.
Considered nonviolent, Macumber was transferred in 1979 to a medium-security unit at Florence. Instead of a cage with two bunks and a toilet in the corner, Macumber shared a dorm, sleeping in an open-air hallway surrounded by other "trusted" prisoners.
Macumber took advantage of his new setting by first serving as a cable technician and later on construction crews. He taught a World War II history class and a computer course.
He also worked with the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce. The Jaycees sent a delegate to the prison to inquire whether the men in Macumber's dormitory would like to start a new chapter to help raise money for the community and to start programs for inmates. Macumber decided to join and later was selected chapter president.
The convicts set to work holding classes that taught prisoners skills they'd need on the outside. Within a couple of years, Macumber was allowed to travel to Phoenix for a Jaycees awards banquet. In front of his parents, he was named Jaycees regional President of the Year in 1983, the first convict ever to receive the honor.
The '80s turned into the '90s, and Macumber was transferred to a dormitory unit in Douglas. In 1998 — the same year the Justice Project started — he mailed a news clipping to his cousin. In it, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor mentioned him and Ernie Valenzuela in an opinion about whether attorney-client privilege should continue after death.
His cousin forwarded it to Thomas O'Toole, at the time a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, who recommended that Macumber contact the Justice Project.
With limited funding and resources, the Justice Project must select cases with the strongest chances to win.
Since its inception, the Arizona project has freed 15 people. Clients have spent between five and 49 years in prison. Some have taken plea deals for time served, and others have been exonerated. Some cases drag on for years while attorneys and volunteers research and litigate. Others, like Louis Harper's, unfurl more quickly.
"I was just watching my life go by," says Harper, 26 when police picked him up where he lived and sold drugs in a poor neighborhood on Phoenix's south side. "I had a lot more time than people in there for murder."
After receiving his letter and reviewing his case, "We approached the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and asked them if there was something we can do for this guy," Katie Puzauskas says, "because he had no other options."
The spot-on comment was buried.
budsanOct 3, 2013
"Something must be done about the legal system in AZ. Now we have Richard Wintory a Pinal prosecutor involved in questionable behavior trying to put someone on death row. We have Debbie Milkie who was put on death row by a lying cop and now we have a over zealous prosecutor in Bill Montgomery who will not accept the truth of the case. Jan Brewer and her underhanded awful tactics with her hand picked Clemency Board. Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio fiasco. Why can't we not only disbar these prosecutors but jail them and the lying cops as well with long prison terms?"
"Lawyer misconduct series benefits from @JohnJayCollege journalist education"
thank goodness larry Hammond took this case thank him, and this man only son who talks to him
wonder if the other two will turn on the mother who is a sinister wicked woman, but bigger shame to Maricopa county for screwing up cases like this , all too often !!!
hopefully he will enjoy what freedom he has left, very sad and shameful state of affairs with az putting innocent people in prison , !
Exoneration Review Bill Passes The Texas House | Texas Monthly
"Texas leads the nation in many things—unfortunately, not all of them good. Along with New York and Illinois, Texas is among the top three offenders when it comes to wrongful criminal convictions. The case of Michael Morton, in particular, has recently called attention to the mishandlings of justice that are all too common, and now Texas lawmakers are considering ways to buckle down on mistakes.
On Tuesday, the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 166. The bill would create the Timothy Cole Exoneration Review Commission, a nine-member team tasked with reviewing exonerated defendants in order to root out the causes of wrongful convictions and to make recommendations for avoiding such mistakes in the future. The bill is named after Timothy Cole, an African-American man who died in prison after serving 13 years for a rape that he did not commit.
Should the bill continue through the Senate and past Governor Perry's desk, the new commission will serve as an independent review of mistakes made in judicial procedures. The Dallas Morning News compares the commission's job to the federal oversight of plane crashes: just as airlines can't necessarily be trusted to police their own mistakes, so too does the judicial system need an outside critic. The nine governor-appointed members of the commission will study the cases of exonerated convicts using peer-reviewed research and expert analysis and will recommend new procedures or enhanced training to avoid repeating similar mistakes. The commission will report any misconduct to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the State Bar of Texas, the office of the attorney general or other appropriate officials."
Wrongful convictions exist in Arizona. It's time the top prosecutors address this critical issue."Bill Montgomery's Actions Argue in Favor of Ethical Rule He Opposes"
Although I'm unfamiliar with this case, I'm just delighted we have an AZ Justice Project. We need them! Thankfully they know law & how to effectively use it. I'm noticing watch dog groups holding the corrupt system accountable. Prisons seem to be making a lot of extra money in a lot of creative ways. It's interesting to see the racial percentages behind bars.
I'm so grateful to those with the know how & compassion to simply get the job down.
I have read the transcripts of both Macumber trials and Carol Macumber NEVER took a lie detector test regarding whether she tampered with evidence in the Sheriff's Office where she worked. She did take a lie detector test but it was concerning another matter entirely.
What did she get out of the divorce? The three kids (who she had previously LEFT for 3 months with her supposedly murderous husband).
Motherhemp keeps saying two juries found him guilty and why do we think we know more than they do. Because WE DO KNOW MORE THAN THEY DID! Ballistics science today shows us that there is no way the bullets that were recovered could be shown to have come from Macumber's gun.
The biggest incontrovertible piece of evidence in this case is Linda Primrose. There is NO WAY she could have taken police to the scene of the crime and divulged information about her friend pulling out her hair (which she had no way of knowing that the police did, in fact, find a clump of hair at the scene) , given an accurate description of Ernie Valenzuela (who later committed and was convicted of an almost identical murder of two people parked in a car in Laveen) and given an accurate description of how the murder took place (which trajectory angles later confirmed).
In terms of Larry Hammond wanting to make a name for himself ... what a joke. Larry Hammond made a name for himself about 40 years ago in the Watergate prosecution. Long before he ever heard of Bill Macumber he was one of the most respected attorneys in the country so I don't think he needed to put in hundreds of unpaid hours in the later years of his career to "make a name for himself."
The Whore got what she wanted, custody of the kids and all the Sheriff man candy she wanted! What more of motive do you need to make a case of framing Bill. NONE!
Motherhemp is one obsessed lady! Maybe she's smoking the back of her name. Hey, you apparently can't read the facts in this story. Pretty ironclad, I'd say. You're obviously biased. Fact is, the Justice Project, which has a lot of smart lawyers involved (i'm sure they are smarter than you, by 40 IQ points per person) believed he was railroaded. And the Clemency Board agreed. Wake up and smell the coffee, sister!
I think motherhemp is his ex-wife Carol. She protest too much! If he is so guilty, then what was his motive? Why would a supervisor at Honeywell with no criminal record suddenly go out and kill two strangers. C'mon Carol give us the inside scoop. Do you feel guilty for framing him?
I couldn't let this slide.. The fact is that Macumber was tried TWICE and found GUILTY, TWICE by 24 different people. Macumber's wife took lie detector tests concerning the supposed tampering with evidence AND PASSED. The foreman of the second jury wrote Ms. Macumber a letter expressing the jury believed her (Bill's defense, with the lack of evidence to prove Bill not guilty, tried put Ms. Macumber on trial) and found Bill Macumber GUILTY. How many times does someone have to be found guilty in Arizona? Macumber was found guilty TWICE!
Something must be done about the legal system in AZ. Now we have Richard Wintory a Pinal prosecutor involved in questionable behavior trying to put someone on death row. We have Debbie Milkie who was put on death row by a lying cop and now we have a over zealous prosecutor in Bill Montgomery who will not accept the truth of the case. Jan Brewer and her underhanded awful tactics with her hand picked Clemency Board. Andrew Thomas and Joe Arpaio fiasco. Why can't we not only disbar these prosecutors but jail them and the lying cops as well with long prison terms?
So, MCSO was destroying or tampering with evidence even in 1962. Why am I not surprised?
I hope Macumber sues. The MCSO and MCAO knew he didn't do it and they still sent him to prison for 38 years.
And what's at the core of all this?
New Study: Prosecutors, Not Police, Have Driven Prison Population Growth
"The United States prison population has exploded over the past 40 years. But why? Have police been making more arrests? Have prosecutors been charging more people with crimes? Have judges been issuing longer sentences? Have parole boards become stricter? (All of the above?) Since many accounts of mass incarceration collapse “the criminal justice system” into a single monolith, it can be hard to know exactly what part of the system has driven the growth in the prison population.
A new empirical study by Fordham law professor John Pfaff aims to provide a more granular explanation of the causes of mass incarceration. Pfaff concludes that only one other relevant number has changed as dramatically as the prison population has: the number of felony case filings per arrest. In other words, police haven’t been arresting more people"
Texas Prosecutor Arrested and Faces Criminal Charges for Concealing Evidence of Morton's Innocence Written by David Greenwald Saturday, 20 April 2013 06:29
A turning point has perhaps been reached in terms of the handling of prosecutorial misconduct. It was 2011 when the US Supreme Court overturned a multimillion dollar civil verdict for John Thompson, who spent years in prison as New Orleans prosecutors not only withheld evidence, but destroyed it.As the New York Times noted at the time, the ruling protects prosecutors, giving them "nearly absolute immunity over civil suits."http://davisvanguard.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6332:texas-prosecutor-arrested-and-faces-criminal-charges-for-concealing-evidence-of-mortons-innocence&catid=74:court-watch&Itemid=100
My sister framed no one. How do you think she was able to do that? How do you account for the reloaded bullet (Bill reloaded his own) that matched one found at his house? What makes you think you know better than two juries that found him guilty? Why do you think this is some sort of conspiracy to keep a supervisor at Honeywell in prison? Not only did Bill not have a criminal recorded, he was the Commander of the Maricopa County Search and rescue team...which is why he was investigated. I could go into detail...shall I?
@joegrad00 NO, No need to lie... I'm Carols sister.... and I do know who Bill REALLY is.
@aztreeman My agenda is the truth. What's your agenda?
@budsan Your well-informed comment is spot-on! In a culture of corrupted justice, for decades, who has any credibility anyway? Listened to the daily, months long disciplinary hearings which are on the archives of the Arizona Supreme Court website. Folks, need to hear their public officials. A shameful group. Nothing has changed since Bill Macumber was convicted.
Ray Krone was put through two trials before he was exonerated over 11 years ago. Same prosecutors wanted him to die, who prosecuted Debra Milke. We believe Bill Macumber has more credibility than anyone associated with the Maricopa County Attorney's office or anyone with ties to the MCSO. Decades of entrenched power = tyranny.
@budsan The truth is Macumber is guilty. I know. No one lied, Bill Macumber is GUILTY!
@budsan This was from planting evidence not the legal system. Learn the diff between the two
@MaskedMagician1967 Sue for what? Macumber is guilty. There will be no law suit. There's nothing to sue for. Who do you think Macumber is going to sue? The MCAO knew no such thing! There was no one tampered with evidence. Why do you think people would put their careers on the line by lying just to prove Macumber guilty? What about the polygraph that was taken my Macumber's wife? It showed she was telling the truth. What about 2 juries, 24 individuals, that found Macumber guilty in 2 trials? Do you suppose ALL those jurors were stupid?
I highly doubt it was just the MCSO, seeing as how unorganized they were I know there are more similar cases across the US with similar tampering and unorganized departments from back in the day.
@motherhemp420 Relax mother. Your beef is with the guy who wrote this article. He presents a very one sided argument with some pretty compelling information. I only have that information to go on, so at this point I am skeptical of the legitimacy of his conviction. So, my question is what was his motive? Why would he kill those people?
@motherhemp420 The jury wasn't given all the evidence. DUH. Of course they couldn't make the correct determination. You expect people to believe you when you have a personal connection to someone who had an axe to grind with this innocent man? Talk about having an agenda. Must run in the family.
@truthseekeraz My question is why aren't prosecutors who withhold evidence, except perjured testimony, and lying officers who out right lie on the witness stand, plant evidence or any other underhanded tactic, prosecuted themselves, like the detective in the Milkie case and prosecutors disbarred and jailed? The stern message must be sent to these despicable human beings
@motherhemp420 The jurors don't have to be stupid. All they need to be is misled by witnesses for the prosecution lying under oath, so-called experts who are anything but who testify, LEOs tampering with evidence, and prosecutors more interested in "wins" than fairness and true justice.
Just ask Ray Krone who went through more than two trials, was on death row for years and years, and was railroaded by an "expert" witness on human bites. DNA evidence cleared him years and years after being convicted.
It's apparent you are related somehow to Macumber's ex-wife or someone near to her. I can understand your bias but don't call jurors stupid or believe that just because more than one jury found him guilty that he really was guilty. Hundreds of innocent individuals who have been released on real evidence deserve as much if not more sympathy.
Mother, it seems that Macumber was telling the truth about what happened that night. He can sue for wrongful imprisonment.
Macumber can sue MCSO and MCAO. It wouldn't surprise me if MCAO withheld the evidence from the defense and MCSO tampered and/or altered the evidence.
Lie detector tests are unreliable. That's why they aren't admitted as evidence in court.
Jurors are human. They make mistakes. In this case government fucked up. Big time.
Police lie and embellish their reports all the time. They have reason to lie when they need a promotion or it's an election year.
@motherhemp420 I guess that is a question for a higher power. I agree that there is no way to make up for killing innocent people, so maybe 38 years isn't enough. I guess that doesn't matter now that he has gone free.
@joegrad00 @motherhemp420 That was just what he got caught for...Do I think he served enough time? I dunno...how much are two innocent lives worth? I remember the FBI being in my parents living room...Bill was being investigated. Sociopaths don't change without treatment. I agree it sounds fantastic... but that is what he told us.
@motherhemp420 @joegrad00 That sounds pretty fantastic, but like I said I wasn't there. If that is all true and he did commit the murders...don't you think 38 years is enough time to serve? It seems like he has had the time to change the person you say he was. Even professional killers go free after only 10 years...
@joegrad00 @motherhemp420 Bill is a wanna be..Like Zimmerman. His excuse was he was instructed to kill those people by the Army intelligence...He thought they were communists. He story was he was in Army intelligence and he was either killing communists in Cuba or going after counterfeiters in Mexico. He says he was to exterminate two commies in a car fitting that description. He says he got the wrong people.
@savatage69 @motherhemp420 And why would you expect anyone to care what you think? You have no connection to this case or Bill. The only information you have is what has been fed to you. Why would I have an ax to grind if he is innocent? He's not...Why would you defend a double murder with no direct information? I'm waiting for you to tell me why you think 24 people in two different trails found him guilty? No one withheld information or evidence.
@ExpertShot @motherhemp420 @aztreeman Have a better outcome? LOL Bill and Carol didn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of...what divorce out come are you suggesting? Arizona is a community property state. Seems like you have an agenda. Who are you..really? I make no claims about my sisters conduct during that time. Surely there must be a better way to set someone up. I mean...all the effort, that must have involved many people who were willing to put their careers on the line, over a few thousand bucks? That doesn't make sense. Then there was the bullet that matched one of Macumbers weapons that was in the shed at his house. Reloading equipment... Maybe Macumber spent that time in prison for crimes he was never caught for. Ya just never know...eh, ExpertShot?
Speaking of whores...why not ask Bill about the 17 year old babysitter and the camping trip with his three young sons...and sharing a tent with the baby sitter.
@motherhemp420 @maryis You wrote " Do you suppose ALL those jurors were stupid? " What my post was trying to point out was that no, I don't think that the jurors were stupid but that prosecutors, police, and trials themselves often are rigged (I can't think of a better word right now) so that the jurors are often fed a load of crap and lies when the prosecution wants to win at all costs.
It's unfortunate that you know nothing about Ray Krone and what Arizona courts put him through. You should look it up and then you might see why I wrote what I did. Even though he was fully exonerated via DNA evidence the asshole prosecutor wouldn't allow him to leave the state to see his dying grandmother after he was allowed out of prison. The prosecutor held onto him till the last minute and Ray's grandmother died without hi there because the prosecutor said that Ray needed to be in state until his court appearance to set him totally free. And Ray was tried something like three or four times and the jurors found him guilty. Twice put on death row and twice to a sentence of life without parole. ALL ON EVIDENCE THAT WAS ENGINEERED BULLSHIT WITH FAKE 'EXPERTS' TO ADVANCE THE PROSECUTOR'S AND DA'S WEAK CASE.
Finally a DNA test was allowed to be done and the DNA matched a guy who was already in prison in Arizona. And yes, the guy admitted that he was the real killer, not Ray.
So don't wave multiple juries around as confirmation and evidence that the verdict has to be right. Ray's case can show you that four separate panels of 12 people can be swayed to the DA's lies.
You are saying that you have all this information. Well, has the legal system allowed you to present it? Anyone else allowed to present it? DA's and prosecutors and judges often rule out pertinent information because they don't want to confuse juries or they think that the witness might be disliked by the jury even if the witness is telling the truth.
@maryis @motherhemp420 This isn't about Ray Krone. I don't know who he is. This is about Bill Macumber and all the insane speculation by people that know only what they have been told. If you would have read all the posts you would have seen I'm am Carols sister. I was there for the whole thing and know things that would put Macumber right back in prison. These things were reported to authorities...but buried. From where I'm sitting, it looks like evidence was suppressed that would have shown the true nature of Mr. Macumber. Do I believe everything my sister says? Nope! I have some issues with my sister but I believe enough and saw and heard enough to know Bill is guilty. He is a predator and needs to be watched so there aren't more victims. Thank you for your concern but where is the compassion and concern for the families...you remember...Joyce Sterrenberg and Tim McKillop? I can't imagine what they must think reading speculation by strangers, declaring Macumber innocent. BTW...I don't have bias....only information that you don't have. Once again...I have NEVER indicated that the juries were stupid. How did you arrive at that conclusion?
@MaskedMagician1967It appears Macumber was telling the truth? Which "truth" are you talking
about? The story he told my sister or the story he told the cops?
WHICH? Yes.. jurors are human but 24 jurors in 2 trials? Come on! You
keep saying the government fucked up...tell me how you THINK the
government screwed up. What evidence do you think was with held? What
makes you think you know anything about this case? To do what my sister
is charged with...(tamper with evidence) it would have taken a lot of
people covering up. Do you think all those people put their careers on
the line...for what? What do you think the police embellished? You've
drawn many conclusions but have nothing to back them up..if Macumber was
going to sue someone he would have done it already. What is he going
to sue for? He was found guilty TWICE by a jury of his peers. He was
sentenced to two life terms. You people have no idea what you are
talking about and you certainly have no evidence to back anything you
believe except second hand information...hearsay. Do you have excess to
the trial transcripts? What is it you are trying to defend? Do you
not think Larry Hammond might be trying to make a name for himself?
Did anyone make political gains, as you claim? Anyone promoted? Have you even done the research to find the answers to those questions? I'm no fan of the criminal justice system.....but in this case and considering the year...you'd have to do much more than to make claims you can't back up. So tell me..what truth are you talking about? What "truth" did Macumber tell about the night he murdered two nice kids in the desert.
@MaskedMagician1967 It appears Macumber was telling the truth? Which "truth" are you talking about? The story he told my sister or the story he told the cops? WHICH? Yes.. jurors are human but 24 jurors in 2 trials? Come on! You keep saying the government fucked up...tell me how you THINK the government screwed up. What evidence do you think was with held? What makes you think you know anything about this case? To do what my sister is charged with...(tamper with evidence) it would have taken a lot of people covering up. Do you think all those people put their careers on the line...for what? What do you think the police embellished? You've drawn many conclusions but have nothing to back them up..if Macumber was going to sue someone he would have done it already. What is he going to sue for? He was found guilty TWICE by a jury of his peers. He was sentenced to two life terms. You people have no idea what you are talking about and you certainly have no evidence to back anything you believe except second hand information...hearsay. Do you have excess to the trial transcripts? What is it you are trying to defend? Do you not think Larry Hammond might be trying to make a name for himself?
@Cozz @motherhemp420 Funny the ASSumptions people make...I Live in another state..haven't lived in Arizona for 35 years. What makes you think I work for the County Attorney's office? Why are you interested enough in Bill to make an ass out of yourself? You all are talking about something you know nothing about...how insane is that? You don't know him and you weren't there. I was and it ruined my life on more than one level. Again, why do you care? Why not care about what the families of the victims ...in the long run..that's who I care about..and yet I've seen no mention of them in any of these posts. Why?
Nope, don't know Bill. But sure know how corrupt you assholes at the County Attorneys Office and MCSO are.